Our Staff

The multidisciplinary team of experts at Children’s Clinics is a collective of over 100 healthcare professionals. With expertise ranging from specialized pediatric care (nurses, medical assistants, speech therapists, dietitians, occupational therapists, pediatricians) to deep knowledge in healthcare systems (prior authorization specialists, office associates, revenue cycle auditors, systems analysts), our team works in harmony together to ensure the special needs of children and their families are always met or exceeded. In addition to the 100+ employees at Children’s Clinics, our 60+ specialty and sub-specialty doctors represent local hospitals and community physician groups. To see a full list of our specialty providers, click here.

Meet Our Executive Team

Jared Perkins

Chief Executive Officer

Jared has experience in behavioral health services, having spent 6 years with Providence of Arizona. As their Director of Business Development, he established an array of programs focused on serving individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Jared is passionate about the Children’s Clinics mission and values, and is driven to continually enhance the comprehensive services provided to this uniquely special population. Jared is the President of the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Southern Arizona and serves as the Chair of their Professional Advisory Council. Jared is also on the Community Advisor Council for the Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), the Governor’s Committee for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Tucson’s Mayor and Council’s Commission on Disability Issues. Jared is married to his high school sweetheart, Jaime, and together they have four children: Zoe, Sylvia, Aidan and Asher.

Melissa Ritchey joined Children’s Clinics in 2017 as Chief Clinical Officer.  Melissa is responsible for the oversight of Primary Care, Family Support Services, Specialty and Rehabilitative Therapies.  Recognized by the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation in 2011 as a “Fabulous Fifty” nurse for her contributions to the health of the community, she was also inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society, which recognizes individuals who have exhibited exceptional achievements in nursing.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Tu Nidito, a nonprofit with a focus on helping children impacted by serious medical conditions and death, and has served as camp nurse for the nonprofit’s Camp Erin, a free bereavement camp for grieving children and teens.  Prior to joining Children’s Clinics, Melissa served as the director of Tucson Medical Center’s Emergency Department, where she oversaw the work of over 150 staff members, providing care to nearly 100,000 adults and pediatric patients annually in a fast-paced environment. Under her direction, TMC’s Emergency Department won the distinction of Tucson’s best emergency department several years running through the Arizona Daily Star’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Melissa received her master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis on clinical systems  leadership at the University of Arizona and her bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Arizona.  She is married to her husband Chris and together they have two children: Izaiah and Emma.

Melissa Ritchey

Chief Clinical Officer

Gemma Thomas

Chief Administrative Officer

Joining Children’s Clinics in 2015, Gemma has held various leadership positions and currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer. Gemma brings twelve years of healthcare experience to her current position at Children’s Clinics, having worked with vulnerable populations in both direct care and administrative roles. Following completion of her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Arizona, Gemma received her master’s degree in social work from the Arizona State University School of Social Work with an emphasis on nonprofit administration.  A graduate of the Arizona Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program and Greater Tucson Leadership, Gemma is committed to improving the overall health of children with complex illnesses living in the culturally diverse communities of southern Arizona. Gemma has been recognized by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as a 2017 40 Under 40 Honoree and by Tucson Local Media’s 2018 Women of Influence Awards. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum Tucson and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Arizona Chapter.

Chris Farley has 12+ years of hospital experience in both the for profit and nonprofit setting.  This includes direct work with Renown Health in Reno, NV as a financial leader helping to grow their medical group facilities (including primary care, urgent care, and specialty clinics).  This work started with 6 facilities and grew to over 60+ in his 8 years.  This group also expanded from 100+ employed physicians to 300+ during this same time period.  His recent work includes Behavioral Health services in both Reno, NV and Tucson, AZ recently with Sonora Behavioral Health Hospital.  Much of his work has been focused on the pediatric/adolescent population in both a CEO and CFO capacity.  Born and raised in Reno, NV which included attending the University of Nevada and completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Chris relocated to Tucson in July 2018 with his wife Kelsey and their two children: Jackson and Brooklynn.  Chris is committed to helping achieve the Children’s Clinics mission and supporting our values.

Chris Farley

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Sydney Rice

Medical Director

Sydney Rice is a developmental pediatrician and is dedicated to improving the lives of children who have disabilities and their families. She began working at Children’s Clinics in 1998 and has worked in the clinic in varied roles, including as a pediatrician in the primary care clinic, spina bifida clinics, osteogenesis imperfecta and developmental clinics. She sees children with varied motor and cognitive disabilities. She volunteers as a board member of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona and serves on the Governor’s Committee on Autism Services. She works on varied research projects that support the care of children with disabilities such as the CDC Autism surveillance program and directs the University of Arizona LEND (training program for professionals who care for children with disabilities).

Yolanda Felix is a native Tucsonan and a University of Arizona, College of Nursing graduate. Yolanda has worked in healthcare for over 40 years in both acute and outpatient clinic settings. She has been with the Children’s Clinics for over 9 years and feels passionately about serving our mission. Outside of the Clinic Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Yolanda’s husband and their two children are also University of Arizona alumni.

Yolanda Felix

Director of Quality

Clay Cummings

Director of Information Systems

Clay joined the Children’s Clinics in November 2014. He has over 20 years of healthcare IT experience delivering technology solutions in public health, acute care and ambulatory environments.  He has experience in the implementation and support of multiple EMR’s, ancillary clinical systems, system integration and revenue cycle management systems.  Clay holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Iowa. In his spare time, Clay enjoys traveling with his wife.

Shahed joined Children’s Clinics in 2019 and serves as the Director of Human Resources. Shahed believes developing strong relationships is foundational to everything in life, both professionally and personally. She has garnered a progressive and broad range of experience from supporting local non-profit organizations to global for-profits in diverse industries. With proven success as a business partner who collaborates using a consultative approach, Shahed excels at aligning people with organizational strategy to create inclusive cultures and further the mission of the organization. Following completion of her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona, Shahed received her Master’s degree in Counseling from Chapman University. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Greater Tucson and enhances her professional experience with community involvement through membership and work with various organizations.  Outside of work, Shahed relishes in the Arts, maintains an active lifestyle, travels, and enjoys a good Netflix binge from time to time. Shahed has called the beautiful Old Pueblo home since 1991. She is married to her husband, Joe, and together they are raising two children, Sofia and Liam.

Shahed Shidoosh Posey

Director of Human Resources

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Children's Clinics is a registered 501(c)(3) Charity © 2019
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